Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish writer, poet and traveller who lived from 1850 until 1894.

He wrote a great many essays, articles, short stories, novels and poems for adults but it’s his wonderful adventure stories and poems for children I want to focus on here.

Robert Louis StevensonRobert Louis Stevenson

I believe that getting our kids interested in books and reading as early as possible is one of the most important things we can do for them.

I also think it’s really important to encourage kids to keep reading as they get older.

There are ages and stages at which it doesn't matter too much what children are reading as long as they are reading. 

But it's good if, as your kids get older, from time to time you can gently steer them in the direction of some really good books.

Well-written books expand our kids' vocabularies.

They also help develop an understanding of the way language works and play an important role in teaching them about the world around them. 

All this is especially important for babies and pre-schoolers but it's equally important for older kids. 

Robert Louis Stevenson's Books for Kids

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote four books which I think should be shared with every child:

  1. A Child’s Garden of Verses for the sheer delight of the way the poems sound when we read them aloud.Babies and young children absolutely love these poems and listening to them helps stimulate phonological awareness, an important pre-reading skill.

  2. Kidnapped! for the excitement of the story about a 12-year-old boy’s adventures and for the wonderful historical stuff about Scotland in the 1700s.This is a great book for 10-14 year olds, although some of the Scots dialect can be a bit hard to understand and may be a bit off-putting for some kids.The edition pictured on the right is great because it includes a glossary of Scots words used in the story, a list of the characters with descriptions of them and information about Scotland in the Jacobite period (the 1740s).This is a great book to read aloud to older kids - even teenagers.

  3. Treasure Island because it’s the classic, exciting tale of a young boy’s search for buried treasure, pirates and all.I’d recommend this book for 8-10 year olds but you could tryreading it aloud to 6-8 year olds too.

  4. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde because it’s a fantastic story and it's where we get the “jekyll and hyde” reference that’s now part of the English language.This is not really a kids’ book but it's great for teens. It's also a great book to read aloud to teenagers.

About Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in Scotland in 1850 and died in Samoa in 1894 of a brain hemorrhage.

He travelled widely, wrote prolifically across a number of genres and loved life, with all its problems and disappointments, as well as its joys.

You can read more about his life in this biography of Robert Louis Stevenson. 

Stevenson suffered from ill health all his life and came close to death a number of times. He was an intelligent and thoughtful man and his illness led him to think about life and it's purpose, more pehaps than most people do.

I really like some of the things he wrote so you'll find a collection of Robert Louis Stevenson's quotes here. 

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